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Is this favouritism and spoiling?

22 replies

Alte · 07/12/2019 23:52

My DM asked me today where we're going on holiday next year. I told her the truth - I'm taking DD1 abroad twice, going with both DDs and DH once abroad and once in the UK, and DD1's going to New York and a PGL type thing with school. DD2 hates holidays which is why she's staying home with DH for 2 of them - when we went away in the summer she complained the entire time and ruined the holiday for all of us (and probably the people nearby as well). DM seems to think it's excessive for DD1 to have 6 holidays including 4 abroad in a year, which I would agree with if 2 of them weren't with school. I was then accused of favouritism because DD2 is only getting 2 holidays - she was offered a place on the 1st holiday and the 2nd one's a treat for DD1 after she's done her GCSEs (she's in year 10) and she asked to go with just me, and if DD2 had a school trip then obviously I'd let her go! Apparently, DD1's going to grow up to be entitled because she has so many holidays. We usually only go abroad once a year, sometimes twice, and have 1 or 2 holidays in the UK. It did get me thinking though, a lot of the kids' friends have never been abroad and don't even have a UK holiday every year.

We do but them nice things, but we also teach them to be grateful (for example, you can have the latest smartphone but if you misuse it too many times you get a basic phone with a keypad for emergencies only). It's not like we're breaking the bank to do any of this since I'm a doctor and earn a good salary from it. My AIBU is this: do I tell my mum that it's my money so I can spend it how I want, or AIBU and I'm raising the DC to be ungrateful and not appreciate the value of money by giving them these opportunities?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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Alte · 07/12/2019 23:55

I didn't mean for this to look like I'm showing off or anything, I'm just really worried that my kids are going to be entitled as adults since they're the first generation in the family to be born into a financially stable household.

OP posts:

UtuNorantiPralatongsThirdEye · 07/12/2019 23:56

I'd probably give dd2 a good amount of money to treat herself/ have fun with while you're on holiday with dd1.


Pipandmum · 07/12/2019 23:59

It's great you can afford it and travelling is a fantastic experience. If your second daughter doesn't mind not going then fine - presumably she will also do something special with you when she does her gcses (though if your first daughter is completing her A levels at the same time don't suddenly combine the treat) and will also travel with school.


gothefcktosleep · 08/12/2019 00:02

It just depends on the individual child. Not all children will react the same to each situation. Hopefully your DD1 will be able to appreciate how fortunate her circumstances are. I don’t think you should have to explain it to anyone.


LolaSmiles · 08/12/2019 00:04

As long as there's some parity between the children then it's fine to do different things.

What would bother me is that it's quite likely for one child to be bought lots of things (in this case holidays) and the other gets nothing on the grounds of it being fair because they wouldn't want the item/treat anyway. In that situation the second child always loses out when they may well have many other things they'd enjoy but don't get because parents are judging against what the first child gets.

E.g. DC1 wasn't bothered about learning to drive but wanted to travel. DC2 wants to learn to drive and gets a car bought for them and their lessons paid for at 17. Parents decide that's fair because DC1 didn't want to learn to drive so they've not lost out.


SleepingStandingUp · 08/12/2019 00:08

I'm half and half.

What does DD2 complain about?

Is the first trip she was offered a place on during school holidays? Presumably she's home with Dad? Is there any financial provision for her to do stuff whilst you're away? Having also got the GCSE holiday, this one does seem excessive.

The GCSE holiday is fine, just make sure you offer something similar when she's that age.

The school trip is a school trip so doesn't count, presumably she'll get an opportunity in time



bridgetreilly · 08/12/2019 00:13

Six holidays including four trips abroad is a LOT for anyone in one year. Two school trips is also quite a lot. I would be rethinking them, to be honest. It's fine for your daughters to have different amounts of holidays according to what they enjoy, but I wouldn't be planning nearly so many trips, no matter how much you can afford.


BeanTownNancy · 08/12/2019 00:16

In my opinion it's better to spend your money on experiences and showing your children the world than buying them loads of expensive stuff. You can't take it with you, so enjoy it.


WorraLiberty · 08/12/2019 00:22

To be honest I wouldn't really care what your mum thinks.

Yes, all those holidays are an awful lot but it doesn't mean your kids will necessarily grow up with their hands in your purse and no appreciation/understanding of hard work and money.

My DS's girlfriend's dad is a millionaire and yet she's working 2 busy jobs whilst studying hard at university.

She's the most grounded, hard working and compassionate young woman you could ever meet and her dad does treat her and (for example) has taken over the cost of her running her car that he bought her.

But that's it. He's very strict about his kids studying/working hard to make their own way in life.

If you can do the same thing with yours, then I don't see a problem but maybe your mum is worried your kids will go the opposite way and feel entitled to everything.


abitoflight · 08/12/2019 00:48

Last summer, DD2
4 nights with me in Spain - post GCSE
9 nights Christian camp at seaside
7 nights family holiday
3 nights science camp at a uni
19 nights volunteering/hols with scouts
4 nights work experience away with family member
She was barely home
DD1 had 4 nights in Canaries with me and DH and that was it
It depends on outside groups and interests and stuff for CV etc

DD1 had 4 nights away and worked (20yo) and never had that many hols

Crack on and take no notice


BackforGood · 08/12/2019 01:10

That does seem like a heck of a lot of holidays, but, if you are wealthy, then maybe that is normal ??

However it doesn't see right that dd1 is getting them all and dd2 not. Is it just that dd2 doesn't like the kind of holiday you and dd1 are going on? Has she been offered the option of doing a different sort of holiday? Or does she get something that dd1 doesn't (Maybe she has a horse that dd1 doesn't want the commitment of or something ?)

As @LolaSmiles says - there needs to be some parity.
My dc have had different things, and the same things but in different years - eg, they all got to go skiing once during secondary school, but I only paid for one of them in 2012, IYSWIM - they all were aware they had 'a turn'.


OhTheRoses · 08/12/2019 01:29

I think I'm more concerned that DD2 is being allowed to opt out rather than DD1 has more. What doesn't DD2 like? There should be something for everyone that everyone shares. DH and DS went skiing every year from when DS was about 8 to 21 - DD and I headed for sunshine. DS did sports tours/DD did music tours. They both had to learn to muck in and keep a smile on their face when they weren't enjoying stuff. DD isn't big on water sports - we have a boat; DS isn't big on riding - DD and I are.


Pixxie7 · 08/12/2019 01:32

I personally think it is too much or you wouldn’t be asking. However the important thing is that they grow up to be considerate kind adults and if you feel you achieve that, why not?


sweeneytoddsrazor · 08/12/2019 01:50

Maybe DH would like to take DD1 on one of the holidays whilst you stay at home with DD2.


Countryescape · 08/12/2019 03:15

Yes I’d say that’s excessive.


Emilizz34 · 08/12/2019 08:38

Your mum has no right to dictate how your spend your money and raise your children.
I don’t think that your dd1’s dislike of holidays should be allowed to dictate everyone else’s experience . It’s unfair on the rest of the family if you have to go away separately because of this .
You are entitled to go on as many holidays as you like and it’s no one else’s business. As a family , we go on several trips to the US and Europe every year . My dd1 is grateful for everything she receives . The younger one has always been a complainer about everything and it certainly ruined several holidays when jet lagged etc but we learned to manage her behaviour eventually. I regret buying her the latest smartphones etc since age 12 though as she came to expect them and was always looking for something . She has two part time jobs while at college and now understands the value of working for something she wants . DD1 was grateful for anything she got and has never asked for anything.


MarleneandBoycie · 08/12/2019 08:41

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TryingAndFailing39 · 08/12/2019 08:44

You’re not a doctor. But cool story bro.

What kind of ridiculous comment is that?!


SimonJT · 08/12/2019 08:47

As long as your other daughter is having a similar amount of money spent on things she does enjoy then it’s fair.

Those holidays are a huge environmental impact, what are you doing to offset that?


TryingAndFailing39 · 08/12/2019 08:48

One of my dc is going on 2 school trips abroad this year and also going away with us twice too. The other dc are just coming on the family holidays and it does feel a bit unfair but as they are school trips I assume it’ll work out fair in the end.
In your case I think you still need to treat dd2 in another way - day trips, money for shopping etc, as that is quite a big difference between the 2.


Londongirl86 · 08/12/2019 08:53

I don't think it's anyone elses business how you treat your children. It's not like you won't let the other one go. She obviously doesn't enjoy holidays that much now. You and the other want to go so that's great. You can afford it and are happy. People can be so opionated. I personally think your girls are lucky to have holidays and it will be giving them life experience.

We never had holidays. Weirdly my parents had no desire to do them. We went away to a place called Morecombe when I was 8. We came back three days early as my parents were bored haha. They had no adventure in them at all.

Since being with my partner 7.5 years we have been to Scotland and 3 times to a beautiful place on the south coast. Our children are 4 and almost 2. The almost two year old is going on his third holiday in the UK in the Easter holidays. My four year old will be going on her 4th. I don't fancy taking them abroad at this age but I love taking them away. They are experiencing what I never did. You enjoy your holidays and ignore people. Just say to your mum she's allowed to come away if she wants, she doesn't want too. DD can't help having school trips and that doesn't mean we want to skip our holidays together due to that.

This is your life enjoy it! Precious time with your kids. She will remember having a mum she was close too. Where as I don't. You are shaping her in a positive way not a spoilt way. Also she is getting to see the world. amazing xxx


mauvaisereputation · 08/12/2019 09:38

Personally I wouldn't split the family up for holidays. Also in this situation I think DD2 will feel undervalued. DD1 is getting way more.

I don't really get why DD1 needed the treat holiday when she is already getting a holiday with you one on one?

I think DD2 should be asked if she wants to do a summer course or something at the same time you take DD1 away. Not fair to just leave her home imo.

Also you need to find out why she didn't want to come (and why she was so unhappy on hol last year) - sounds like there is already something going on with her? How is your relationship generally? And why did DD1 not want her sister to come on her treat holiday?

I do think it's important to treat them equally and spend equal amount on them. Not necessarily treat them identically but if one is getting a holiday the other should get something else (and really I think it's better to do family holidays - I know you say DD2 opted out but I wonder if your letting her so easily made her feel unwanted).

Sorry I think YABU - you are at risk of alienating your DD2 - I think she sees DD1 as the favoured golden child. Since your mum has raised an issue - and she knows you all - I think you should listen to her.

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